Thailand's Jasmine raises US$1bil from IPO of Internet fund

  • Business
  • Thursday, 05 Feb 2015

BANGKOK: Thai telecommunications group Jasmine International PCL has raised 36.7 billion baht (US$1.13bil) through the initial public offering (IPO) of its Internet fund, earmarked for the expansion of its high-speed broadband network.

Jasmine, Thailand's second-largest high-speed Internet provider, confirmed an earlier report by Thomson Reuters publication IFR that it set the IPO price at 10.00 baht per unit, from an indicative range of 10.00 baht to 10.50 baht.

At 10 baht, the size of the fund is 55 billion baht (US$1.7bil), making the IPO Thailand's biggest since December 2013 when broadband leader True Corp PCL listed a fund housing its telecoms assets in a US$1.8bil offering.

The latest IPO came as competition in broadband intensifies with the entry of Advanced Info Service PCL, the country's largest mobile operator, in a fast-growing market where the penetration rate is just 25%.

“The offering has been successfully completed," Jasmine chief executive officer Pete Bodharamik said in a statement.

Jasmine Broadband Internet Infrastructure Fund offered 5.5 billion units, to which one-third were subscribed by Jasmine International. About 27% were offered to domestic investors and 40% to foreign investors.

The fund will begin trading on the Stock Exchange of Thailand on Feb 16.

Jasmine International shares have risen 13% in the past three months, versus a 1.5% gain of the benchmark index, as buyers expected success of the IPO to help the parent maintain its broadband market share, particularly in more populous provinces.

Thailand has about five million households connected to the Internet via broadband networks, of which two million are subscribed to True and 1.6 million to Jasmine.

In a filing to the stock exchange, Jasmine said it will transfer its fibre optic network to the fund and that it planned to use proceeds of the IPO to expand its broadband network.

The company aims to invest 10 billion baht in the three years through 2017 to expand high-speed Internet networks. It also targets 2 million subscribers by 2015.

The fund will own 980,000 core kilometres of optical fibre cable that can cover 5.1 million households, while Jasmine's unit will rent the fund's assets to provide broadband services, according to the fund's prospectus. — Reuters

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